ASHEVILLE, N.C. — An electrician helping to renovate a home in North Carolina accidentally unearthed a box that contained a trove of historic documents, some of which were signed by U.S. presidents Andrew Jackson and Martin Van Buren.

The Asheville Citizen-Times reports ( electrician German Martinez found the papers of Thomas W. Patton hidden in the Patton-Parker House that attorney Jim Siemens bought last fall.

Included in the papers are the signatures of Jackson and Van Buren on land grants to Patton, who was a captain in the Confederate Army. He served as Asheville mayor, Buncombe County commissioner and county tax collector. He died in 1907.

Three former slaves built the house, which is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Siemens is renovating it for use as a law office.

Information from: The Asheville Citizen-Times,